Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to develop a practical model of work integrated learning for undergraduate engineering students in relation to Conceiving-Designing-Implementing-Operating standards 7 (Integrated Learning Experiences) and 8 (Active Learning). Moreover, it is discussed the role of cultural-social perspective and peer learning in enhancing the developed learning model from a pedagogical point of view. Design/methodology/approach– The model is based on an organized collaboration with the industrial partners in the surrounding geographic region. As a part of the collaboration, each participating student is guaranteed internships at a chosen company over the summer period. In the model, company-based projects are integrated with some of the study program courses. Moreover, the participating students are given a possibility to perform their final thesis at the chosen company. Findings– A number of positive effects have been observed and documented as follows: first, the integrated learning improves the learning process for the students, where learning, knowledge and practice are integrated into the engineering curricula; second, the general quality of the study programs in the faculty has been developed and improved based on the professional skills as required by modern industrial companies; and third, the obtained advantage for the industrial partners has been to establish professional contacts with the students as well as the possibility to be acquainted with potential future employees. Research limitations/implications– The feedback the authors received so far from the industrial partners has been positive. A detailed evaluation will be made at a later stage when more information is available. Practical implications– The developed learning model supports the expected learning outcomes, especially with regard to interpersonal skills, teamwork and communication. As a part of the collaboration, each participating student is guaranteed internships at a chosen company over the summer periods. The authors consider this collaboration as a “win-win situation” for the three parties involved in the learning model: the students, the university/faculty and the industrial partners. Originality/value– Case study based on observations and evaluation of a developed learning model.
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 4, 2016